In a TikTok that has now amassed over 450,000 views, Robert Simpson wiggles a little blue silicone device asking “what in the heck is this?”
It’s a “Grip Toggle,” Simpson’s latest invention under his brand Single Handed. The company is a “small and innovative home and hospitality brand” that creates simple, sustainably-designed products that make life easier for able-bodied and disabled folks alike.
The Grip Toggle includes a suction cup and pulley mechanism that allows people with limited grip ability or hand motor function to open cabinets or gain a better grasp on cooking utensils.
“If you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel, or simply old age, or even missing digits, the Grip Toggle makes life a little easier,” Simpson said in the video. “Which is what all of our products are about.”
Commenters gave suggestions for more accessible designs, asked questions about the various uses of the product, and marveled at its simple, helpful design.
“My mom has MS and this would help her greatly,” one person wrote.
“Omg, I need this,” another person chimed in. “I have a rare bone disease in my left hand… and now carpal tunnel in my right because I’m always over-using it.”
“You made a portable, wearable PopSocket,” another commenter added. “How cool! I need.”
The Grip Toggle is only one of these accessibility aids from Single Handed.
Simpson’s first designs were the Tipsi Tray and the Topple Tray, which are single-handed serving trays with a long, curved handle that provide additional grip and have no-spill edges, making it easier and safer to carry drinks — either around the house, or in a busy pub.
Simpson first showed off his tray designs on “Dragon’s Den” (basically the UK-version of “Shark Tank”), but he isn’t the only one who deserves credit. His grandfather, Andrew Townson, built a prototype for the first single-handed tray in the 1980s.
“My granddad lived in an old and draughty house in Yorkshire and wanted a tray that he could hold comfortably one-handed while closing doors and windows to keep the cold out,” Simpson said on “Dragon’s Den.”
“I took that idea and brought the Tipsi Tray to market because of the benefits that it could bring to older people and those with disabilities. As it happens, it proved to be very popular in the hospitality and catering industry, too, as a really useful tool for serving and waiting staff.”
He has also demonstrated the tray’s use for folks who move around with wheelchairs — and the beverages continue to be transported spill-free.
“Our single hand use trays make life easier for able-bodied and less abled people alike,” the Single Handed website reads.
“The unique design allows easier use for those with balance, shaking, or disabilities, which make carrying a traditional tray more difficult, dangerous, or even impossible in some cases. Single Handed wants to make the world an easier, safer, and better place to live for everyone.”
Simpson has also created double-handled “Dignity Mugs,” which are a refined take on a sippy cup, allowing people of all ages to comfortably hold onto their drinks with two hands, or to pass on the mug with less chance of spilling, burning, or dropping.
There’s also the “Pint Sherpa,” which is more specifically designed for the hospitality industry, allowing folks to pick up two pint glasses with one simple motion.
All in all, Simpson’s mission is to create simple, accessible items that last and make a small difference in everyday life.
“Hundreds and hundreds of people have been commenting, saying who it will help, how it will help them, and what ailments it will actually help,” Simpson said in response to the viral video about the Toggle Grip. “I’m absolutely blown away.”